ECOLOGICAL CRISIS IN THE NORTHWESTERN BLACK SEA REGION AT THE PLEISTOCENE-HOLOCENE BOUNDARY: MAIN COMPONENTS AND DYNAMICS THROUGH TIME
Smyntyna, Olena Valentynivna
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The theory of ecological crises as important driving forces in the paleohistorical process was put forward by Sergey Bibikov in the late 1960s in connection with his complex studies of hunter-gatherer economy and modes of life on the eve of the transition to a productive economy. He viewed prehistoric ecological crises as being integral with paleoeconomic crises, interpreting both as an objective and natural result of prehistoric production activity taking place in a permanently changing environment. For the period 9000-6000 B.C., he distinguished several stages of crisis development that correlate with phases of paleoenvironmental evolution as well as with changes in the livelihood of hunter-gatherers (Bibikov 1969). His speculations stimulated intensive field investigations of fauna and flora, climate, and geomorphology in the Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene, which were followed by modeling of the paleogeographic conditions in territories mainly centered upon archaeological sites at periods of time when the sites were occupied. Such investigations in the northwestern Black Sea region (NWBSR) have resulted in the formation of a comprehensive paleogeographic database, which includes palynological, paleontological, paleoclimatic, and geological data. Results of interdisciplinary investigations of archaeological sites of the same period offer the possibility of (1) reconstructing human responses to the variety of challenges put forward by nature, (2) delineating the main components of the ecological crisis in the NWBSR at the Pleistocene-Holocene boundary, and (3) detecting stages in the crisis development through time.
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